The Letters of Horace Walpole Volume 3
by Horace Walpole
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(163) This piece, founded on Fontaine's "Trois Souhaits," was written in imitation of the Italian comedy; Harlequin, Pantaloon, Columbine, etc. being introduced into it as speaking characters. "Many parts of it," says the Biographia Dramatica, "exhibit very just satire and solid sense, and give evident testimony of the author's learning, knowledge, understanding, and critical judgment; yet the deficiency of incident which appears in it, as well as of that lively kind of wit which is one of the essentials of perfect comedy, seem, in great measure, to justify that coldness with which the piece was received by the town."-E.

Letter 79 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, July 5, 1761. (page 130)

You are a pretty sort of a person to come to one's house and get sick, only to have an excuse for not returning to it. Your departure is so abrupt, that I don't know but I may expect to find that Mrs. Jane Truebridge, whom you commend so much, and call Mrs. Mary, will prove Mrs. Hannah. Mrs. Clive is still more disappointed: she had proposed to play at quadrille with you from dinner till supper, and to sing old Purcell to you from supper to breakfast next morning.(164) If you cannot trust yourself from Greatworth for a whole fortnight, how will you do in Ireland for six months? Remember all my preachments, and never be in spirits at supper. Seriously I am sorry you are out of order, but am alarmed for you at Dublin, and though all the bench of bishops should quaver Purcell's hymns, don't let them warble you into a pint of wine. I wish you were going among catholic prelates, who would deny you the cup. Think of me and resist temptation. Adieu!

(164) Dr. Burney tells us, that Mrs. Clive's singing, "which was intolerable when she meant to be fine, in ballad-farces and songs of humour, was, like her comic acting, every thing it should be."-E.

Letter 80 To The Earl Of Strafford. Strawberry Hill, July 5, 1761. (page 130)

My dear lord, I cannot live at Twickenham and not think of you: I have long wanted to write, and had nothing to tell you. My Lady D. seems to have lost her sting; she has neither blown up a house nor a quarrel since you departed. Her wall, contiguous to you, is built, but so precipitate and slanting that it seems hurrying to take water. I hear she grows sick of her undertakings. We have been ruined by deluges; all the country was under water. Lord Holderness's new foss'e(165) was beaten in for several yards - this tempest was a little beyond the dew of Hermon, that fell on the Hill of Sion. I have been in still more danger by water: my parroquet was on my shoulder as I was feeding my gold-fish, and flew into the middle of the pond: I was very near being the Nouvelle Eloise, and tumbling in after him; but with much ado I ferried him out with my hat.

Lord Edgecumbe has had a fit of apoplexy; your brother Charles(166) a bad return of his old complaint; and Lord Melcombe has tumbled down the kitchen stairs, and—waked himself.

London is a desert; no soul in it but the king. Bussy has taken a temporary house. The world talks of peace-would I could believe it! every newspaper frightens me: Mr. Conway would be very angry if he knew how I dread the very name of the Prince de Soubise.

We begin to perceive the tower of Kew(167) from Montpellier in a fortnight you will see it in Yorkshire.

The Apostle Whitfield is come to some shame: he went to Lady Huntingdon lately, and asked for forty pounds for some distressed saint or other. She said she had not so much money in the house, but would give it him the first time she had. He was very pressing, but in vain. At last he said, "There's your watch and trinkets, you don't want such vanities; I will have that." She would have put him off- but he persisting, she said, "Well, if you must have it, you must." About a fortnight afterwards, going to his house, and being carried into his wife's chamber, among the paraphernalia of the latter the Countess found her own offering. This has made a terrible schism: she tells the story herself—I had not it from Saint Frances,(168) but I hope it is true. Adieu, my dear lord!

P. S. My gallery sends its humble duty to your new front, and all my creatures beg their respects to my lady.

(165) At Sion-hill, near Brentford.

(166) Charles Townshend, married to Lady Greenwich, eldest sister to Lady Strafford.

(167) The pagoda in the royal garden at Kew.

(168) Lady Frances Shirley.

Letter 81 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Arlington Street, July 14, 1761. (page 131)

My dearest Harry, How could you write me such a cold letter as I have just received from you, and beginning Dear sir! Can you be angry with me, for can I be in fault to you? Blamable in ten thousand other respects, may not I almost say I am perfect with regard to you'? Since I was fifteen have I not loved you unalterably? Since I was capable of knowing your merit, has not my admiration been veneration? For what could so much affection and esteem change? Have not your honour, your interest, your safety been ever my first objects? Oh, Harry! if you knew what I have felt and am feeling about you, would you charge me with neglect? If I have seen a person since you went, to whom my first question has not been, "What do you hear of the peace?" you would have reason to blame me. You say I write very seldom: I will tell you what, I should almost be sorry to have you see the anxiety I have expressed about you in letters to every body else. No; I must except Lady Ailesbury, and there is not another on earth who loves you so well, and is so attentive to whatever relates to you.

With regard to writing, this is exactly the case.- I had nothing to tell you; nothing has happened; and where you are I was cautious of writing. Having neither hopes nor fears, I always write the thoughts of the moment, and even laugh to divert the person I am writing to, without any ill will on the subjects I mention. But in your situation that frankness might be prejudicial to you: and to write grave unmeaning letters, I trusted you was too secure of' me either to like them or desire them. I knew no news, nor could: I have lived quite alone at Strawberry; am connected with no court, ministers, or party; consequently heard nothing, and events there have been none. I have not even for this month heard my Lady Townshend's extempore gazette. All the morning I play with my workmen or animals, go regularly every evening to the meadows with Mrs. Clive, or sit with my Lady Suffolk, and at night scribble my Painters-What a journal to send you! I write more trifling letters than any man living; am ashamed of them, and yet they are expected of me. You, my Lady Ailesbury, your brother, Sir Horace Mann, George Montagu, Lord Strafford-all expect I should write—Of what? I live less and less in the world, care for it less and less, and yet am thus obliged to inquire what it is doing. Do make these allowances for me, and remember half your letters go to my Lady Ailesbury. I writ to her of the King's marriage, concluding she would send it to you: tiresome as it would be, I will copy my own letters, if you it; for I will do any thing rather than disoblige you. I will send you a diary of the Duke of York's balls and Ranelaghs, inform you of how many children my Lady Berkeley is with child, and how many races my nephew goes to. No; I will not, you do not want such proofs of my friendship.

The papers tell us you are retiring, and I was glad? You seem to expect an action—Can this give me spirits? Can I write to you joyfully, and fear? Or is it fit Prince Ferdinand should know you have a friend that is as great a coward about you as your wife? The only reason for my silence that can not be true, is, that I forget you. When I am prudent or cautious, it is no symptom of my being indifferent. Indifference does not happen in friendships, as it does in passions; and if I was young enough, or feeble enough to cease to love you, I would not for my own sake let it be known. Your virtues are my greatest pride; I have done myself so much honour by them, that I will not let it be known you have been peevish with me unreasonably. Pray God we may have peace, that I may scold you for it!

The King's marriage was kept the profoundest secret till last Wednesday, when the privy council was extraordinarily summoned, and it was notified to them. Since that, the new Queen's mother is dead, and will delay it a few days; but Lord Harcourt is to sail on the 27th, and the coronation will certainly be on the 22d of September. All that I know fixed is, Lord Harcourt master of the horse, the Duke of Manchester chamberlain, and Mr. Stone treasurer. Lists there are in abundance; I don't know the authentic: those most talked of, are Lady Bute groom of the stole, the Duchesses of Hamilton and Ancaster, Lady Northumberland, Bolingbroke, Weymouth, Scarborough, Abergavenny, Effingham, for ladies; you may choose any six of them you please; the four first are most probable. Misses Henry Beauclerc, M. Howe, Meadows, Wrottesley, Bishop, etc. etc. Choose your maids too. Bedchainber women, Mrs. Bloodworth, Robert Brudenel, Charlotte Dives, Lady Erskine; in short, I repeat a mere newspaper.

We expect the final answer of France this week. Bussy(169) was in great pain on the fireworks for quebec, lest he should be obliged to illuminate his house: you see I ransack my memory for something to tell you.

Adieu! I have more reason to be angry than you had; but I am not so hasty: you are of a violent, impetuous, jealous temper—I, cool, sedate, reasonable. I believe I must subscribe my name, or you will not know me by this description.

(169) The Abb'e de Bussy, sent here with overtures of peace. Mr. Stanley was at the same time sent to Paris.

Letter 82 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, Friday night, July 16, 1761. (page 133)

I did not notify the King's marriage to you yesterday, because I knew you would learn as much by the evening post as I could tell you. The solemn manner of summoning the council was very extraordinary: people little imagined, that the urgent and important business in the rescript was to acquaint them that his Majesty was going to * * * * * * * *. All I can tell you of truth is, that Lord Harcourt goes to fetch the Princess, and comes back her master of the horse. She is to be here in August, and the coronation certainly on the 22d of September. Think of the joy the women feel; there is not a Scotch peer in the fleet that might not marry the greatest fortune in England between this and the 22d of September. However, the ceremony will lose its two brightest luminaries, my niece Waldegrave for beauty, and the Duchess of Grafton for figure. The first will be lying-in, the latter at Geneva; but I think she will come, if she walks to It as well as at it. I cannot recollect but Lady Kildare and Lady Pembroke of great beauties. Mrs. Bloodworth and Mrs. Robert Brudenel, bedchamber women, Miss Wrottesley and Miss Meadows, maids of honour, go to receive the Princess at Helvoet; what lady I do not hear. Your cousin's Grace of Manchester, they say, is to be chamberlain, and Mr. Stone, treasurer; the Duchess of Ancaster and Lady Bolingbroke of her bedchamber: these I do not know are certain, but hitherto all seems well chosen. Miss Molly Howe, one of the pretty Bishops, and a daughter of Lady Harry Beauclerc, are talked of for maids of honour. The great apartment at St. James's is enlarging, and to be furnished with the pictures from Kensington : this does not portend a new palace.

In the midst of all this novelty and hurry, my mind is very differently employed. They expect every minute the news of a battle between Soubise and the hereditary Prince. Mr. Conway, I believe, is in the latter army; judge if I can be thinking much of espousals and coronations! It is terrible to be forced to sit still, expecting such an event; in one's own room one is not obliged to be a hero; consequently, I tremble for one that is really a hero.

Mr. Hamilton, your secretary, has been to see me to-day; I am quite ashamed not to have prevented him. I will go to-morrow with all the speeches I can muster.

I am sorry neither you nor your brother are quite well, but shall be content if my Pythagorean sermons have any weight with you. You go to Ireland to make the rest of your life happy; don't go to fling the rest of it away. Good night!

Mr. Chute is gone to his Chutehood.

Letter 83 To The Countess Of Ailesbury. Strawberry Hill, July 20, 1761. (page 134)

I blush, dear Madam, on observing that half my letters to your ladyship are prefaced with thanks for presents:-don't mistake; I am not ashamed of thanking you, but of having so many occasions for it. Monsieur Hop has sent me the piece of china: I admire it as much as possible, and intend to like him as much as ever I can but hitherto I have not seen him, not having been in town since he arrived.

Could I have believed that the Hague would so easily compensate for England? nay, for Park-place! Adieu, all our agreeable suppers! Instead of Lady Cecilia's(170) French songs, we shall have Madame Welderen(171) quavering a confusion of d's and t's, b's and p's—Bourquoi s'cais du blaire?(172)—Worse than that, I expect to meet all my relations at your house, and Sir Samson Gideon instead of Charles Townshend. You will laugh like Mrs. Tipkin(173) when a Dutch Jew tells you that he bought at two and a half per cent. and sold at four. Come back, if you have any taste left: you had better be here talking robes, ermine, and tissue, Jewels and tresses, as all the world does, than own you are corrupted. Did you receive my notification of the new Queen? Her mother is dead, and she will not be here before the end of August.

My mind is much more at peace about Mr. Conway than it was. Nobody thinks there will be a battle, as the French did not attack them when both armies shifted camps; and since that, Soubise has entrenched himself up to the whiskers:—whiskers I think he has, I have been so afraid of him! Yet our hopes of meeting are still very distant: the peace does not advance; and if Europe has a stiuer left in its pockets, the war will continue; though happily all parties have been so scratched, that they only sit and look anger at one another, like a dog and cat that don't care to begin again.

We are in danger of losing our sociable box at the Opera. The new Queen is very musical, and if Mr. Deputy Hodges and the city don't exert their veto, will probably go to the Haymarket. George Pitt, in imitation of the Adonises in Tanzai's retinue, has asked to be her Majesty's grand harper. Dieu s'cait quelle raclerie il y aura! All the guitars are untuned; and if Miss Conway has a mind to be in fashion at her return, she must take some David or other to teach her the new twing twang, twing twing twang. As I am still desirous of being in fashion with your ladyship, and am, over and above, very grateful, I keep no company but my Lady Denbigh and Lady Blandford, and learn every evening, for two hours, to mask my English. Already I am tolerably fluent in saying she for he.(174)

Good night, Madam! I have no news to send you: one cannot announce a royal wedding and a coronation every post.

P. S. Pray, Madam, do the gnats bite your legs? Mine are swelled as big as one, which is saying a deal for me.

July 22.

I HAD writ this, and was not time enough for the mail, when I receive your charming note, and this magnificent victory!(175) Oh! my dear Madam, how I thank you, how I congratulate you, how I feel for you, how I have felt for you and for myself! But I bought it by two terrible hours to-day—I heard of the battle two hours before I could learn a word of Mr. Conway—I sent all round the world, and went half around it myself. I have cried and laughed, trembled and danced, as you bid me. If you had sent me as much old china as King Augustus gave two regiments for, I should not be half so much obliged to you as for your note. How could you think of me, when you had so much reason to think of nothing but yourself?—And then they say virtue is not rewarded in this world. I will preach at Paul's Cross, and quote you and Mr. Conway; no two persons were ever so good and happy. In short, I am serious in the height of all my joy. God is very good to you, my dear Madam; I thank him for you; I thank him for myself: it is very unalloyed pleasure we taste at this moment!- -Good night! My heart is so expanded, I could write to the last scrap of my paper; but I won't. Yours most entirely.

(170) Lady Cecilia West, daughter of John Earl of Delawar, afterwards married to General James Johnston.

(171) Wife of the Count de Welderen, one of the lords of the States of Holland.-E.

(172) The first words of a favourite French air, with Madame Welderen's confusion of p's, t's' etc.

(173) A character in Steele's comedy of The Tender Husband, or the Accomplished Fools brought out at Drury-lane in 1709.-E.

(174) A mistake which these ladies, who were both Dutch women, constantly made.

(175) The battle of Kirckdenckirck, on the 15th and 16th of July, in which the allied army, under Prince Ferdinand, gained a great victory over the French, under the Prince of Soubise.-E.

Letter 84 To The Earl Of Strafford. Strawberry Hill, July 22, 1761. (page 136)

My dear lord, I love to be able to contribute to your satisfaction, and I think few things would make you happier than to hear that we have totally defeated the French combined armies, and that Mr. Conway is safe. The account came this morning: I had a short note from my poor Lady Ailesbury, who was waked with the good news before she had heard there had been a battle. I don't pretend to send you circumstances, no more than I do of the wedding and coronation, because you have relations and friends in town nearer and better informed. indeed, only the blossom of victory is come yet. Fitzroy is expected, and another fuller courier after him. Lord Granby, to the mob's heart's content, has the chief honour of the day—rather, of the two days. The French behaved to the mob's content too, that is, shamefully: and all this glory cheaply bought on our side. Lieutenant-colonel Keith killed, and Colonel Marlay and Harry Townshend wounded. If it produces a peace, I shall be happy for mankind—if not, shall content myself with the single but pure joy of Mr. Conway's being safe.

Well! my lord, when do you come? You don't like the question, but kings will be married and must be crowned-and if people will be earls, they must now and then give up castles and new fronts for processions and ermine. By the way, the number of peeresses that propose to excuse themselves makes great noise; especially as so many are breeding, or trying to breed, by commoners, that they cannot walk. I hear that my Lord Delawar, concluding all women would not dislike the ceremony, is negotiating his peerage in the city, and trying if any great fortune will give fifty thousand pounds for one day, as they often do for one night. I saw Miss this evening at my Lady Suffolk's, and fancy she does not think my Lord quite so ugly as she did two months ago. Adieu, my lord! This is a splendid year!

Letter 85 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, July 22, 1761. (page 136)

For my part, I believe Mademoiselle Scuderi drew the plan of this year. It is all royal marriages, coronations, and victories; they come tumbling so over one another from distant parts of the globe, that it looks just like the handywork of a lady romance writer, whom it costs nothing but a little false geography to make the Great Mogul in love with a Princess of Mecklenburg, and defeat two marshals of France as he rides post on an elephant to his nuptials. I don't know where I am. I had scarce found Mecklenburg Strelitz(176) with a magnifying-glass before I am whisked to Pondicherri(177)—well, I take it, and raze it. I begin to grow acquainted with Colonel Coote, and to figure him packing up chests and diamonds, and sending them to his wife against the King's wedding—thunder go the Tower guns, and behold, Broglio and Soubise are totally defeated; if the mob have not much stronger heads and quicker conceptions than I have, they -will conclude my Lord Granby is become nabob. How the deuce in two days can one digest all this? Why is not Pondicherri in Westphalia? I don't know how the Romans did, but I cannot support two victories every week. Well, but you will want to know the particulars. Broglio and Soubise united, attacked our army on the 15th, but were repulsed; the next day, the Prince Mahomet Alli d Cawn—no, no, I mean Prince Ferdinand, returned the attack, and the French threw down their arms and fled, run over my Lord Harcourt, who was going to fetch the new Queen; in short, I don't know how it was, but Mr. Conway is safe, and I am as happy as Mr. Pitt himself. We have only lost a Lieutenant-colonel Keith; Colonel Marlay and Harry Townshend are wounded.

I could beat myself for not having a flag ready to display on my round tower, and guns mounted on all m@battlements. Instead of that, I have been foolishly trying on My new pictures upon my gallery. However, the oratory of our Lady of Strawberry shall be dedicated next year on the anniversary of Mr. Conway's safety. Think with his intrepidity, and delicacy of honour wounded, what I had to apprehend; you shall absolutely be here on the sixteenth of next July. Mr. Hamilton tells me your King does not set out for his new dominions till the day after the coronation; if you will come to it, I can give you a very good place for the procession; which is a profound secret, because, if known, I should be teased to death, and none but my first friends shall be admitted. I dined with your secretary yesterday; there were Garrick and a young Mr. Burke, who wrote a book in the style of Lord Bolingbroke, that was much admired.(178) He is a sensible man, but has not worn off his authorism yet, and thinks there is nothing so charming as writers, and to be one. He will know better one of these days. I like Hamilton's little Marly; we walked in the great all'ee, and drank tea in the arbour of treillage; they talked of Shakspeare and Booth, of Swift and my Lord Bath, and I was thinking of Madame S'evign'e,-. Good night! I have a dozen other letters to write; I must tell my friends how happy I am—not as an Englishman, but as a cousin.

(176) The King had just announced his intention of demanding in marriage the Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg Strelitz.-E.

(177) the news of the capture of Pondicherry had only arrived on the preceding day.-E.

(178) Mr. Burke's "Vindication of Natural Society," in imitation of Lord Bolingbroke's style, which came out in the spring of 1756, was his first avowed production.-E.

Letter 86 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill, July 23, 1761. (page 138)

Well, mon beau cousin! you may be as cross as you please now. when you beat two Marshals of France and cut their armies to pieces, I don't mind your pouting; but in good truth, it was a little vexatious to have you quarrelling with me, when I was in greater pain about you than I can express. I Will Say no more; make a peace, under the walls of Paris if you please, and I will forgive you all—but no more battles: consider, as Dr. Hay said, it is cowardly to beat the French now.

Don't look upon yourselves as the only conquerors in the world. Pondicherri is ours, as well as the field of KirkDenckirk. The park guns never have time to cool; we ruin ourselves in gunpowder and skyrockets. If you have a mind to do the gallantest thing in the world after the greatest, you must escort the Princess of Mecklenburgh through France. You see what a bully I am; the moment the French run away, I am sending you on expeditions. I forgot to tell you that the King has got the isle of Dominique and the chickenpox, two trifles that don't count in the midst of all these festivities. No more does your letter of the 8th, which I received yesterday: it is the one that is to come after the 16th, that I shall receive graciously.

Friday 24th.

Not satisfied with the rays of glory that reached Twickenham, I came to town to bask in your success; but am most disagreeably disappointed to find you must beat the French once more, who seem to love to treat the English mob with subjects for bonfires. I had got over such an alarm, that I foolishly ran into the other extreme, and concluded there was not a French battalion left entire upon the face of Germany. Do write to me; don't be out of humour, but tell me every motion you make: I assure you I have deserved you should. Would you were out of the question, if it were only that I might feel a little humanity! There is not a blacksmith or linkboy in London that exults more than I do, upon any good news, since you went abroad. What have I to do to hate people I never saw, and to rejoice in their calamities? Heaven send us peace, and you home! Adieu!

Letter 87 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, July 28, 1761. (page 138)

No, I shall never cease being a dupe, till I have been undeceived round by every thing that calls itself a virtue. I came to town yesterday, through clouds of dust, to see The Wishes, and went actually feeling for Mr. Bentley, and full of the emotions he must be suffering. What do you think, in a house crowded, was the first thing I saw? Mr. and Madame Bentley, perched up in the front boxes, and acting audience at his own play! No, all the impudence of false patriotism never came up to it. Did one ever hear of an author that had courage to see his own first night in public'? I don't believe Fielding or Foote himself ever did; and this was the modest, bashful Mr. BenTley, that died at the thought of being known for an author even by his own acquaintance! In the stage-box was Lady Bute, Lord Halifax, and Lord Melcombe. I must say, the two last entertained the house as much as the play; your King was prompter, and called out to the actor every minute to speak louder. The other went backwards, behind the scenes, fetched the actors into the box, and was busier than Harlequin. The curious prologue was not spoken, the whole very ill acted. It turned out just what I remembered it; the good extremely good, the rest very flat and vulgar; the genteel dialogue, I believe, might be written by Mrs. Hannah. The audience were extremely fair: the first act they bore with patience, though it promised very ill; the second is admirable, and was much applauded; so was the third; the fourth-woful; the beginning of the fifth it seemed expiring, but was revived by a delightful burlesque of the ancient chorus, which was followed by two dismal scenes, at which people yawned, but were awakened on a sudden by Harlequin's being drawn up to a gibbet, nobody knew why or wherefore - this raised a prodigious and continued hiss, Harlequin all the while suspended in the air,—at last they were suffered to finish the play, but nobody attended to the conclusion.(179) Modesty and his lady all the while sat with the utmost indifference; I suppose Lord Melcombe had fallen asleep before he came to this scene, and had never read it. The epilogue was the King and new queen, and ended with a personal satire on Garrick: not very kind on his own stage To add to the judgment of his conduct, Cumberland two days ago published a pamphlet to abuse him. It was given out for to-night with rather more claps than hisses, but I think will not do unless they reduce it to three acts.

I am sorry you will not come to the coronation. The place I offered I am not sure I can get for any body else; I cannot explain it to you, because I am engaged to secrecy: if I can get it for your brother John I will, but don't tell him of it, because it is not sure. Adieu!

(179) The piece was coldly received by the town. Cumberland says that, "when the last of the three Wishes produced the ridiculous catastrophe of the hanging of Harlequin in full view of the audience, my uncle, the author, then sitting by me, whispered in my ear, 'If they don't damn this they deserve to be damned themselves;' and whilst he was yet speaking the roar began, and The Wishes were irrevocably damned."-E.

Letter 88 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill. (page 140)

This is the 5th of August, and I just receive your letter of the 17th of last month by Fitzroy.(180) I heard he had lost his pocket-book with all his despatches, but had found it again. He was a long time finding the letter for me.

You do nothing but reproach me; I declare I will bear it no longer, though you should beat forty more Marshals of France. I have already writ you two letters that would fully justify me if you receive them; if you do not, it is not I that am in fault for not writing, but the post-offices for reading my letters, content if they would forward them when they have done with them. They seem to think, like you that I know more news than any body. What is to be known in the dead of summer, when all the world is dispersed? Would you know who won the sweepstakes at Huntingdon? what parties are at Woburn? what officers upon guard in Betty's fruit-shop? whether the peeresses are to wear long, or short tresses at the coronation? how many jewels Lady Harrington borrows of actresses? All this is your light summer wear for conversation; and if my memory were as much stuffed with it as my ears, I might have sent you Volumes last week. My nieces, Lady Waldegrave and Mrs. Keppel, were here five days, and discussed the claim or disappointment of every miss in the kingdom for maid of honour. Unfortunately this new generation is not at all my affair. I cannot attend to what Concerns them. Not that their trifles are less important than those of one's own time, but my mould has taken all its impressions, and can receive no more. I must grow old upon the stock I have. I, that was so impatient at all their chat, the moment they were gone, flew to my Lady Suffolk, and heard her talk with great satisfaction of the late Queen's coronation-petticoat. The preceding age always appears respectable to us (I mean as one advances in years), one's own age interesting, the coming age neither one nor t'other.

You may judge by this account that I have writ all my letters, or ought to have written them; and yet, for occasion to blame Me, you draw a very pretty picture of my situation: all which tends to prove that I ought to write to you every day, whether I have any thing to say or not. I am writing, I am building—both works that will outlast the memory of battles and heroes! Truly, I believe, the one will as much as t'other. My buildings are paper, like my writings, and both will be blown away in ten years after I am dead; if they had not the substantial use of amusing me while I live, they would be worth little indeed. I will give you one instance that will sum up the vanity of great men, learned men, and buildings altogether. I heard lately, that Dr. Pearce, a very learned personage, had consented to let the tomb of Aylmer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, a very great personage, be removed for Wolfe's monument; that at first he had objected, but was wrought upon by being told that hight Aylmer was a knight templar, a very wicked set of people, as his lordship had heard, though he knew nothing of them, as they are not mentioned by Longinus. I own I thought this a made story, and wrote to his lordship, expressing my concern that one of the finest and most ancient monuments in the abbey should be removed, and begging, if it was removed, that he would bestow it on me, who would erect and preserve it here. After a fortnight's deliberation, the bishop sent me an answer, civil indeed, and commending my zeal for antiquity! but avowing the story under his own hand. He said, that at first they had taken Pembroke's tomb for a knight templar's. Observe, that not only the man who shows the tombs names it every day, but that there is a draught of it at large in Dart's Westminster; that upon discovering whose it was, he had been very unwilling to consent to the removal, and at last had obliged Wilton to engage to set it up within ten feet of where it stands at present. His lordship concluded with congratulating me on publishing learned authors at my press. don't wonder that a man who thinks Lucan a learned author, should mistake a tomb in his own cathedral. If I had a mind to be angry, I could complain with reason; as, having paid forty pounds for ground for my mother's tomb, that the Chapter of Westminster sell their church over and over again; the ancient monuments tumble upon one's head through their neglect, as one of them did, and killed a man at Lady Elizabeth Percy's funeral; and they erect new waxen dolls of Queen Elizabeth, etc. to draw visits and money from the mob. I hope all this history is applicable to some part or other of my letter; but letters you will have, and so I send you one, very like your own stories that you tell your daughter-. There was a King, and he had three daughters, and they all went to see the tombs; and the youngest, -who was in love with Aylmer de Valence, etc.

Thank you for your account of the battle; thank Prince Ferdinand for giving you a very Honourable post, which, in spite of his teeth and yours, proved a very safe one; and above all, thank Prince Soubise, whom I love better than all the German Princes in the universe. Peace, I think, we must have at last, if you beat the French, or at least hinder them from beating you, and afterwards starve them. Bussy's last last courier is expected; but as he may have a last last last courier, I trust more to this than to all the others. He was complaining t'other day to Mr. Pitt of our haughtiness, and said it would drive the French to some desperate effort, "Thirty thousand men," continued he, "would embarrass you a little, I believe!" "Yes," replied Pitt, "for I am so embarrassed with those we have already, I don't know what to do with them."

Adieu! Don't fancy that the more you scold, the more I will write: it has answered three times, but the next cross word you give me shall put an end to our correspondence. Sir Horace Mann's father used to say, "Talk, Horace, you have been abroad:"- -You cry, "Write, Horace, you are at home." No, Sir. you can beat an hundred and twenty thousand French, but you cannot get the better of me. I will not write such foolish letters as this every day, when I have nothing to say. Yours as you behave.

(180) George Fitzroy, afterwards created Lord Southampton.

Letter 89 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, Aug. 20, 1761. (page 142)

A few lines before you go; your resolutions are good, and give me great pleasure; bring them back unbroken; I have no mind to lose you; we have been acquainted these thirty years, and to give the devil his due, in all that time I never knew a bad, a false, a mean, or ill-natured thing in the devil—but don't tell him I say so, especially as I cannot say the same of myself. I am now doing a dirty thing, flattering you to preface a commission. Dickey Bateman(181) has picked up a whole cloister full of old chairs in Herefordshire. He bought them one by one, here and there in farmhouses, for three-and-sixpence, and a crown apiece. They are of' wood, the seats triangular, the backs, arms, and legs loaded with turnery. A thousand to one but there are plenty up and down Cheshire too. If Mr. and Mrs. Wetenhall, as they ride or drive out would now and then pick up such a chair, it would oblige me greatly. Take notice, no two need be of the same pattern.

Keep it as the secret of your life; but if your brother John addresses himself to me a day or two before the coronation, I can place him well to see the procession: when it is over, I will give you a particular reason why this must be such a mystery. I was extremely diverted t'other day with my mother's and my old milliner; she said she had a petition to me—"What is it, Mrs. Burton?" "It Is in behalf of two poor orphans." I began to feel for my purse. "What can I do for them, Mrs. Burton?" "Only if your honour would be so compassionate as to get them tickets for the coronation." I could not keep my countenance, and these distressed orphans are two and three-and-twenty! Did you ever hear a more melancholy case?

The Queen is expected on Monday. I go to town on Sunday. Would these shows and your Irish journey were over, and neither of us a day the poorer!

I am expecting Mr. Chute to hold a chapter on the cabinet. A barge-load of niches, window-frames, and ribs, is arrived. The cloister is paving, the privy garden making, painted glass adjusting to the windows on the back stairs - with so many irons in the fire, you may imagine I have not much time to write. I wish you a safe and pleasant voyage.

(181) Richard Bateman, brother of Viscount Bateman. In Sir Charles Hanbury Williams's Poems he figures as "Constant Dickey."-E.

Letter 90 To The Earl Of Strafford. Arlington Street, Tuesday morning. (page 143)

My dear lord, Nothing was ever equal to the bustle and uncertainty of the town for these three days. The Queen was seen off the coast of Sussex on Saturday last, and is not arrived yet-nay, last night at ten o'clock it was neither certain when she landed, nor when she would be in town. I forgive history for knowing nothing, when so public an event as the arrival of a new Queen is a mystery even at the very moment in St. James's Street. The messenger that brought the letter yesterday morning, said she arrived ,it half an hour after four at Harwich. This was immediately translated into landing, and notified in those words to the ministers. Six hours afterwards it proved no such thing, and that she was only in Harwich-road; and they recollected that an hour after four happens twice in twenty-four hours, and the letter did not specify which of the twices it was. Well! the bridemaids whipped on their virginity; the new road and the parks were thronged; the guns were choking with impatience to go off; and Sir James Lowther, who was to pledge his Majesty was actually married to Lady Mary Stuart.(182) Five, six, seven, eight o'clock came, and no Queen—She lay at Witham at Lord Abercorn's, who was most tranquilly in town; and it is not certain even whether she will be composed enough to be in town to-night. She has been sick but half an hour; sung and played on the harpsicord all the voyage, and been cheerful the whole time. The coronation will now certainly not be put off-so I shall have the pleasure of seeing you on the 15th. The weather is close and sultry; and if the wedding is to-night, we shall all die.

They have made an admirable speech for the Tripoline ambassador that he said he heard the King had sent his first eunuch to fetch the Princess. I should think he meaned Lord Anson.

You will find the town over head and ears in disputes about rank, and precedence, processions, entr'ees, etc. One point, that of the Irish peers, has been excellently liquidated: Lord Halifax has stuck up a paper in the coffee-room at Arthur's, importing, , That his Majesty, not having leisure to determine a point of such great consequence, permits for this time such Irish peers as shall be at the marriage to walk in the procession." Every body concludes those personages will understand this order as it is drawn up in their own language; otherwise it is not very clear how they are to walk to the marriage, if they are at it before they come to it.

Strawberry returns its duty and thanks for all your lordship's goodness to it, and though it has not got its wedding-clothes yet, will be happy to see you. Lady Betty Mackenzie is the individual woman she was—she seems to have been gone three years, like the Sultan in the Persian Tales, who popped his head into a tub of water, pulled it up again, and fancied he had been a dozen years in bondage in the interim. She is not altered a tittle. Adieu, my dear lord!

Twenty minutes past three in the afternoon, not in the middle of the night.

Madame Charlotte is this instant arrived. The noise of coaches, chaises, horsemen, mob, that have been to see her pass through the parks, is so prodigious that I cannot distinguish the guns. I am going to be dressed, and before seven shall launch into the crowd. Pray for me!

(182) Eldest daughter of the Earl of Bute.-E.

Letter 91 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Arlington Street, Sept. 9, 1761. (page 144)

The date of my promise is now arrived, and I fulfil it—fulfil it with great satisfaction, for the Queen is come; and I have seen her, have been presented to her—and may go back to Strawberry. For this fortnight I have lived upon the road between Twickenham and london: I came, grew inpatient, returned; came again, still to no purpose. The yachts made the coast of Suffolk last Saturday, on Sunday entered the road of Harwich, and on Monday morning the King's chief eunuch, as the Tripoline ambassador calls Lord Anson, landed the Princess. She lay that night at Lord Abercorn's at Whitham, the palace of silence; and yesterday at a quarter after three arrived at St. James's. In half an hour one heard nothing but proclamations of her beauty: every body was content, every body pleased. At seven one went to court. The night was sultry. About ten the procession began to move towards the chapel, and at eleven they all came up into the drawing-room. She looks very sensible, cheerful, and is remarkably genteel. Her tiara of diamonds was very pretty, her stomacher sumptuous; her violet-velvet mantle and ermine so heavy, that the spectators knew as much of her upper half as the King himself. You will have no doubts of her sense by what I shall tell you. On the road they wanted to curl her toupet; she said she thought it looked as well as that of any of the ladies sent to fetch her; if the King bid her, she would wear a periwig, otherwise she would remain as she was. When she caught the first glimpse of the palace, she grew frightened and turned pale; the Duchess of Hamilton smiled—the Princess said, "My dear Duchess, you may laugh, you have been married twice, but it is no joke to me." Her lips trembled as the coach stopped, but she jumped out with spirit, and has done nothing but with good-humour and cheerfulness. She talks a great deal—is easy, civil, and not disconcerted. At first, when the bridemaids and the court were introduced to her, she said, "Mon Dieu, il y en a tant, il y en a tant!" She was pleased when she was to kiss the peeresses; but Lady Augusta was forced to take her hand and give it to those that were to kiss it, which was prettily humble and good-natured. While they waited for supper, she sat down, sang, and played. Her French is tolerable, she exchanged much both of that and German with the King, and the Duke of York. They did not get to bed till two. To-day was a drawing-room: every body was presented to her; but she spoke to nobody, as she could not know a soul. The crowd was much less than at a birthday, the magnificence very little more. The King looked very handsome, and talked to her continually with great good-humour.- It does not promise as if they two would be the two most unhappy persons in England, from this event. The bridemaids, especially Lady Caroline Russel, Lady Sarah Lenox, and Lady Elizabeth Keppel, were beautiful figures. With neither features nor air, Lady Sarah was by far the chief angel. The Duchess of Hamilton was almost in possession of her former beauty today: and your other Duchess, your daughter, was much better dressed than ever I saw her. Except a pretty Lady Sutherland, and a most perfect beauty, an Irish Miss Smith,(183) I don't think the Queen saw much else to discourage her: my niece,(184) Lady Kildare, Mrs. Fitzroy, were none of them there. There is a ball to-night, and two more drawing-rooms; but I have done with them. The Duchess of Queensbury and Lady Westmoreland were in the procession, and did credit to the ancient nobility.

You don't presume to suppose, I hope, that we are thinking of you, and wars, and misfortunes, and distresses, in these festival times. Mr. Pitt himself Would be mobbed if he talked of any thing but clothes, and diamonds, and bridemaids. Oh! yes, we have wars, civil wars; there is a campaign opened in the bedchamber. Every body is excluded but the ministers; even the lords of the bedchamber, cabinet counsellors, and foreign ministers: but it has given such offence that I don't know whether Lord Huntingdon must not be the scapegoat. Adieu! I am going to transcribe most of this letter to your Countess.

(183) Afterwards married to Lord Llandaff.

(184) The Countess of Waldegrave.

Letter 92 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Sept. 24, 1761. (page 145)

I am glad you arrived safe in Dublin, and hitherto like it so well; but your trial is not begun yet. When your King comes;, the ploughshares will be put into the fire. Bless your stars that your King is not to be married or crowned. All the vines of Bordeaux, and all the fumes of Irish brains cannot make a town so drunk as a regal wedding and coronation. I am going to let London cool, and will not venture into it again this fortnight. O! the buzz, the prattle, the crowds, the noise, the hurry! Nay, people are so little come to their senses, that though the coronation was but the day before yesterday, the Duke of Devonshire had forty messages yesterday, desiring tickets for a ball, that they fancied was to be at court last night. People had sat up a night and a day, and yet wanted to see a dance. If I was to entitle ages, I would call this the century of crowds. For the coronation, if a puppet-show could be worth a million, that is. The multitudes, balconies, guards, and processions, made Palace-yard the liveliest spectacle in the world - the hall was the most glorious. The blaze of lights, the richness and variety of habits, the ceremonial, the benches of peers, and peeresses, frequent and full, was as awful as a pageant can be -. and yet for the King's sake and my own, I never wish to see another; nor am impatient to have my Lord Effingham's promise fulfilled. The King complained that so few precedents were kept for their proceedings. Lord Effingham owned, the earl marshal's office had been strangely neglected; but he had taken such care for the future, that the next coronation would be regulated in the most exact manner imaginable. The number of peers and peeresses present was not very great; some of the latter, with no excuse in the world, appeared in Lord Lincoln's gallery, and even walked about the hall indecently in the intervals of the procession. My Lady Harrington, covered with all the diamonds she could borrow, hire, or seize, and with the air of Roxann, was the finest figure at a distance; she complained to George Selwyn that she was to walk with Lady Portsmouth, who would have a wig and a stick—"Pho," said he, "you will only look as if you were taken up by the constable." She told this everywhere, thinking the reflection was on my Lady Portsmouth. Lady Pembroke, alone at the head of the countesses, was the picture of majestic modesty; the Duchess of Richmond as pretty as nature and dress, with no pains of her own, could make her; Lady Spencer, Lady Sutherland, and Lady Northampton, very pretty figures. Lady Kildare, still beauty itself, if not a little too large. The ancient peeresses were by no means the worst party: Lady Westmoreland, still handsome, and with more dignity than all; the Duchess of Queensbury looked well, though her locks were milk-white; Lady Albemarle very genteel; nay, the middle age had some good representatives in lady Holderness, Lady Rochford, and Lady Strafford, the perfectest little figure of all. My Lady Suffolk ordered her robes, and I dressed part of her head, as I made some of my Lord Hertford's dress; for you know, no profession comes amiss to me, from a tribune of the people to a habit-maker. Don't imagine that there were not figures as excellent on the other side: old Exeter, who told the King he was the handsomest man she ever saw; old Effingham and a Lady Say and Seale, with her hair powdered and her tresses black, were in excellent contrast to the handsome. Lord B * * * * put on rouge upon his wife and the Duchess of Bedford in the painted chamber; the Duchess of Queensbury told me of the latter, that she looked like an orange-peach, half red, and half yellow. The coronets of the peers and their robes disguised them strangely; it required all the beauty of the Dukes of Richmond and Marlborough to make them noticed. One there was, though of another species, the noblest figure I ever saw, the high-constable of Scotland, Lord Errol; as one saw him in a space capable of containing him, one admired him. At the wedding, dressed in tissue, he looked like one of the giants in Guildhall, new gilt. It added to the energy of his person, that one considered him acting so considerable a part in that very hall, where so few years ago one saw his father, Lord Kilmarnock, condemned to the block. The champion acted his part admirably, and dashed down his gauntlet with proud defiance. His associates, Lord Effingham, Lord Talbot, and the Duke of Bedford, were woful: Lord Talbot piqued himself on his horse backing down the hall, and not turning its rump towards the King; but he had taken such pains to dress it to that duty, that it entered backwards, and at his retreat the spectators clapped, a terrible indecorum, but suitable to such Bartholomew-fair doings. He had twenty demel'es and came out of none creditably. He had taken away the table of the knights of the Bath, and was forced to admit two in their old place, and dine the others in the court of requests. Sir William Stanhope said, "We are ill-treated, for some of us are gentlemen." beckford told the Earl, it was hard to refuse a table to the city of london Whom it would cost ten thousand pounds to banquet the King, and his lordship would repent it if they had not a table in the Hall; they had. To the barons of the Cinque-ports, who made the same complaint, he said, "If you come to me as lord-steward, I tell you it is impossible; if, as Lord Talbot, I am a match for any of you:" and then he said to Lord Bute, "If I were a minister, thus I would talk to France, to Spain, to the Dutch—none of your half measures." This has brought me to a melancholy topic. Bussy goes tomorrow, a Spanish war is hanging in the air, destruction is taking a new lease of mankind—of the remnant of mankind. I have no prospect of seeing Mr. Conway. Adieu! I will not disturb you with my forebodings. You I shall see again in spite of war, and I trust in spite of Ireland. I was much disappointed at not seeing your brother John: I kept a place for him to the last minute, but have heard nothing of him. Adieu!

Letter 93 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Arlington Street, Sept. 25, 1761. (page 147)

This is the most unhappy day I have known of years: Bussy goes away! Mankind is again given up, to the sword! Peace and you are far from England!

Strawberry Hill.

I was interrupted this morning, just as I had begun my letter, by Lord Waldegrave; and then the Duke of Devonshire sent for me to Burlington-house to meet the Duchess of Bedford, and see the old pictures from Hardwicke. If my letter reaches you three days later, at least you are saved from a lamentation. Bussy has put off his journey to Monday (to be sure, you know this is Friday): he says this is a strange country, he can get no Waggoner to carry his goods on a Sunday. I am Clad a Spanish war waits for a conveyance, and that a wagoner's veto is as good as a tribune's of Rome, and can stop Mr. Pitt on his career to Mexico. He was going post to conquer it—and Beckford, I suppose, would have had a contract for remitting all the gold, of which Mr. Pitt never thinks, unless to serve a city friend. It is serious that we have discussions with Spain, who says France is humbled enough, but must not be ruined: Spanish gold is actually coining in frontier towns of France; and the privilege which Biscay and two other provinces have of fishing on the coast of Newfoundland, has been demanded for all Spain. It was refused peremptorily; and Mr. Secretary Cortez(185) insisted yesterday se'nnight on recalling Lord Bristol.(186) The rest of the council, who are content with the world they have to govern, without conquering Others, prevailed to defer this impetuosity. However, if France or Spain are the least untractable, a war is inevitable: nay, if they don't submit by the first day of the session, I have no doubt but Mr. Pitt will declare it himself on the address. I have no opinion of Spain intending it: they give France money to protract a war, from which they reap such advantages in their peaceful capacity; and I should think would not give their money if they were on the point of having occasion for it themselves. In spite of you, and all the old barons our ancestors, I pray that we may have done with glory, and would willingly burn every Roman and Greek historian who have don nothing but transmit precedents for cutting throats.

The coronation is over: 'tis even a more gorgeous sight than I imagined. I saw the procession and the hall; but the return was in the dark. In the morning they had forgot the sword of state, the chairs for King and Queen, and their canopies. They used the Lord Mayor's for the first, and made the last in the hall so they did not set forth till noon; and then, by a childish compliment to the King, reserved the illumination of the hall till his entry; by which means they arrived like a funeral, nothing being discernible but the plumes of the knights of the Bath, which seemed the hearse. Lady Kildare the Duchess of Richmond, and Lady Pembroke were the capital beauties. Lady Harrington, the finest figure at a distance; old Westmoreland, the most majestic. Lady Hertford could not walk, and indeed I think is in a way to give us great anxiety. She is going to Ragley to ride. Lord Beauchamp was one of the King's train-bearers. Of all the incidents of the day, the most diverting was what happened to the Queen. She had a retiring-chamber, with all conveniences, prepared behind the altar. She went thither—in the most convenient what found she, but—the Duke of Newcastle! Lady Hardwicke died three days before the Ceremony, Which kept away the whole house of Yorke. Some of the peeresses were dressed overnight, slept in armchairs, and were waked if they tumbled their heads. Your sister Harris's maid, Lady Peterborough, was a comely figure. My Lady Cowper refused, but was forced to walk with Lady Macclesfield. Lady Falmouth was not there on which George Selwyn said, "that those peeresses who were most used to walk, did not." I carried my Lady Townshend, Lady Hertford, Lady Anne Connolly, my Lady Hervey, and Mrs. Clive, to my deputy's house at the gate of Westminster-hall. My Lady Townshend said she should be very glad to see a coronation, as she never had seen one. "Why," said I, "Madam, you walked at the last?" "Yes, child," said she, "but I saw nothing of it: I only looked to see who looked at me." The Duchess of Queensbury walked! her affectation that day was to do nothing preposterous. The Queen has been at the Opera, and says she will go once a week. This is a fresh disaster to our box, where we have lived so harmoniously for three years. We can get no alternative but that over Miss Chudleigh's; and Lord Strafford and Lady Mary Coke will not subscribe, unless we can. The Duke of Devonshire and I are negotiating with all our -art to keep our party together. The crowds at the Opera and play when the King and Queen go, are a little greater than what I remember. The late royalties went to the Haymarket, when it was the fashion to frequent the other opera in Lincoln's-inn-fields. Lord Chesterfield one night came into the latter, and was asked, if he had been at the other house? "Yes," said he, "but there was nobody but the King and Queen; and as I thought they might be talking business, I came away."

Thank you for your journals: the best route you can send me in would be of your Journey homewards. Adieu!

P. S. If you ever hear from, or write to, such a person as Lady Ailesbury, pray tell her she is worse to me in point of correspondence than ever you said I was to you, and that she sends me every thing but letters!

(185) Mr. Pitt, then secretary of state.

(186) The English ambassador at the court of Madrid.

Letter 94 To The Countess Of Ailesbury. Strawberry Hill, Sept. 27, 1761. (page 149)

You are a mean mercenary woman. If you did not want histories of weddings and coronations, and had not jobs to be executed about muslins, and a bit of china, and counterband goods, one should never hear of you. When you don't want a body, you can frisk about with greffiers and burgomasters. and be as merry in a dyke as my lady frog herself. The moment your curiosity is agog, or your cambric seized, you recollect a good cousin in England, and, as folks said two hundred years ago, begin to write "upon the knees of your heart." Well! I am a sweet-tempered creature, I forgive you. I have already writ to a little friend in the customhouse, and will try what can be done; however, by Mr. Amyand's report to the Duchess of Richmond, I fear your case is desperate. For the genealogies, I have turned over all my books to no purpose; I can meet with no Lady Howard that married a Carey, nor a Lady Seymour that married a Canfield. Lettice Canfield, who married Francis Staunton, was a daughter of Dr. James (not George) Canfield, younger brother of the first Lord Charlemont. This is all I can ascertain. For the other pedigree; I can inform your friend that there was a Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, who married an Anne Carew, daughter of Sir Nicholas Carew, knight of the garter, not Carey. But the Sir Nicholas Carew married Joan Courtney—not a Howard: and besides, the Careys and Throckmortons you wot of were just the reverse, your Carey was the cock, and Throckmorton the hen-mine are vice versa:—otherwise, let me tell your friend, Carews and Courtneys are worth Howards any day of the week, and of ancienter blood;- -so, if descent is all he wants, I advise him to take up with the pedigree as I have refitted it. However, I will cast a figure once more, and try if I can conjure up the dames Howard and Seymour that he wants.

My heraldry was much more offended at the coronation with the ladies that did walk, than with those that walked out of their place; yet I was not so perilously angry as my Lady Cowper, who refused to set a foot with my Lady Macclesfield; and when she was at last obliged to associate with her, set out on a round trot, as if she designed to prove the antiquity of her family by marching as lustily as a maid of honour of Queen Gwiniver. It was in truth a brave sight. The sea of heads in palace-yard, the guards, horse and foot, the scaffolds, balconies, and procession, exceeded imagination. The hall, when once illuminated, was noble; but they suffered the whole parade to return in the dark, that his Majesty might be surprised with the quickness with which the sconces catched fire. The champion acted well; the other Paladins had neither the grace nor alertness of Rinaldo. Lord Effingham and the Duke of Bedford were but untoward knights errant; and Lord Talbot had not much more dignity than the figure of General Monk in the abbey. The habit of the peers is unbecoming to the last degree; but the peeresses made amends for all defects. Your daughter Richmond, Lady Kildare, and Lady Pembroke were as handsome as the Graces. Lady Rochford, Lady Holderness, and Lady Lyttelton looked exceedingly well in that their day; and for those of the day before, the Duchess of Queensbury, Lady Westmoreland, and Lady Albemarle were surprising. Lady Harrington was noble at a distance, and so covered with diamonds, that you would have thought she had bid somebody or other, like Falstaff, rob me the exchequer. Lady Northampton was very magnificent too, and looked prettier than I have seen her of late. Lady Spencer and Lady Bolingbroke were not the worst figures there. The Duchess of Ancaster marched alone after the Queen with much majesty; and there were two new Scotch peeresses that pleased every body, Lady Sutherland and Lady Dunmore. Per contra, were Lady P * * *, who had put a wig on, and old E * * * *, who had scratched hers off, Lady S * * *, the Dowager E * * *, and a Lady Say and Sele, with her tresses coal-black, and her hair coal-white. Well! it was all delightful, but not half so charming as its being over. The gabble one heard about it for six weeks before, and the fatigue of the day, could not well be compensated by a mere puppet-show; for puppet-show it was, though it cost a million. The Queen is so gay that we shall not want sights; she has been at the Opera, the Beggar's Opera and the Rehearsal, and two nights ago carried the King to Ranelagh. In short, I am so miserable with losing my Duchess,(187) and you and Mr. Conway, that I believe, if you should be another six weeks without writing to me, I should come to the Hague and scold you in person—for, alas! my dear lady, I have no hopes of seeing you here. Stanley is recalled, is expected every hour. Bussy goes tomorrow ; and Mr. Pitt is so impatient to conquer Mexico, that I don't believe he will stay till my Lord Bristol can be ordered to leave Madrid. I tremble lest Mr. Conway should not get leave to come—nay, are we sure he would like to ask it? he was so impatient to get to the army, that I should not be surprised if he stayed there till every suttler and woman that follows the camp was come away. You ask me if we are not in admiration of Prince Ferdinand. In truth, we have thought very little of him. He may outwit Broglio ten times, and not be half so much talked of as lord Talbot' backing his horse down Westminster-hall. The generality are not struck with any thing under a complete victory. If you have a mind to be well with the mob of England, you must be knocked on the head like Wolfe, or bring home as many diamonds as Clive. We live in a country where so many follies or novelties start forth every day, that we have not time to try a (general's capacity by the rules of Polybius.

I have hardly left room for my obligations-to your ladyship, for my commissions at Amsterdam; to Mrs. Sally,(188) for her teapots, which are to stay so long at the Hague, that I fear they will have begot a whole set of china; and to Miss Conway and Lady George, for thinking of me. Pray assure them of my re-thinking. Adieu, dear Madam! Don't You think we had better write oftener and shorter.

(187) The Duchess of Grafton, who was abroad.

(188) Lady Ailesbury's woman.

Letter 95 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Oct. 8, 1761. (page 151)

I cannot swear I wrote to you again to offer your brother the place for the coronation; but I was Confident I did, nay, I think so still: my proofs are, the place remained vacant, and I sent to old Richard to inquire if Mr. John was not arrived. He had no great loss, as the procession returned in the dark.

Your King(189) will have heard that Mr. Pitt resigned last Monday.(190) Greater pains have been taken to recover him than were used to drive him out. He is inflexible, but mighty peaceable. Lord Egremont is to have the seals to-morrow. It is a most unhappy event—France and Spain will soon let us know we ought to think so. For your part, you will be invaded; a blacker rod than you will be sent to Ireland. Would you believe that the town is a desert'! The wedding filled it, the coronation crammed it; Mr. Pitt's resignation has not brought six people to London. As they could not hire a window and crowd one another to death to see him give up the seals, it seems a matter of perfect indifference. If he will accuse a single man of checking our career of glory, all the world will come to see him hanged; but what signifies the ruin of a nation, if no particular man ruins it?

The Duchess of Marlborough died the night before last. Thank you for your descriptions; pray continue them. Mrs. Delany I know a little, Lord Charlemont's villa is in Chambers's book.(191)

I have nothing new to tell you; but the grain of mustard seed sown on Monday will soon produce as large a tree as you can find in any prophecy. Adieu!

P. S. Lady Mary Wortley is arrived.

(189) The Earl of Halifax, lord-lieutenant of Ireland.

(190) The following is Mr. Pitt's own account of this transaction, in a letter to Alderman Beckford:—"A difference of opinion with regard to measures to be taken against Spain, of the highest importance to the Honour of the crown and to the most essential national interests, and this founded on what Spain had already done, not on what that court may further intend to do, was the cause of my resigning, the seals. Lord Temple and I submitted in writing, and urged our most humble sentiments to his Majesty; which being overruled by the united opinion of the rest of the King's servants, I resigned, on Monday the 5th, in order not to remain responsible for measures which I was no longer allowed to guide." Chatham Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 158.-E.

(191) Sir William Chambers's "Treatise on Civil Architecture," a work which Walpole describes as "the most sensible book, and the most exempt from prejudices, that was ever written on that science." It first appeared in 1759. A fourth edition, edited by Mr. Gwin was published in 1825.-E.

letter 96 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, Oct. 10, 1761. (page 152)

Pray, sir, how does virtue sell in Ireland now? I think for a province they have now and then given large prices. Have you a mind to know what the biggest virtue in the world is worth? If Cicero had been a drawcansir instead of a coward, and had carried the glory of Rome to as lofty a height as he did their eloquence, for how much do you think he would have sold all that reputation? Oh! sold it! you will cry, vanity was his predominant passion; he would have trampled on sesterces like dirt, and provided the tribes did but erect statues enough for him, he was content with a bit of Sabine mutton; he would have preferred his little Tusculan villa, or the flattery of Caius Atticus at Baia, to the wealth of Croesus, or to the luxurious banquets of Lucullus. Take care, there is not a Tory gentleman, if there is one left, who would not have laid the same wager twenty years ago on the disinterestedness of my Lord Bath. Come, u tremble, you are so incorrupt yourself you will give the world Mr. Pitt was so too. You adore him for what he has done for us; you bless him for placing England at the head of Europe, and you don't hate him for infusing as much spirit into us, as if a Montague, Earl of Salisbury, was still at the head of our enemies. Nothing could be more just. We owe the recovery of our affairs to him, the splendour of our country, the conquest of Canada, Louisbourg, Guadaloupe, Africa, and the East. Nothing is too much for such services; accordingly, I hope you will not think the barony of Chatham, and three thousand pounds a-year for three lives too much for my Lady Hester. She has this pittance: good night!

P. S. I told you falsely in my last that Lady Mary Wortley was arrived—I cannot help it if my Lady Denbigh cannot read English in all these years, but mistakes Wrottesley for Wortley.

Letter 97 To The Countess Of Ailesbury. Strawberry Hill, Oct. 10, 1761. (page 153)

I don't know what business I had, madam, to be an economist: it was out of' character. I wished for a thousand more drawings in that sale at Amsterdam, but concluded they would be very dear; and not having seen them, I thought it too rash to trouble your ladyship with a large commission. I wish I could give you as good an account of your commission; but it is absolutely impracticable. I employed one of the most sensible and experienced men in the customhouse; and all the result was, he could only recommend me to Mr. Amyand as the newest, and consequently the most polite of the commissioners—but the Duchess of Richmond had tried him before—to no purpose. There is no way of recovering any of your goods, but purchasing them again at the sale.

What am I doing, to be talking to you of drawings and chintzes, when the world is all turned topsy-turvy! Peace, as the poets would say, is not only returned to heaven, but has carried her sister Virtue along with her!—Oh! no, peace will keep no such company—Virtue is an errant strumpet, and loves diamonds as well as my Lady Harrington, and is as fond of a coronet as my Lord Melcombe.(192) Worse! worse! She will set men to cutting throats, and pick their pockets at the same time. I am in such a passion, I cannot tell you what I am angry about—why, about Virtue and Mr. Pitt; two errant cheats, gipsies! I believe he was a comrade of Elizabeth Canning, when he lived at Enfield-wash. In short, the council were for making peace;

"But he, as loving his own pride, and purposes, Evades them with a bombast circumstance, horribly stuffed with epithets of war, And in conclusion—nonsuits my mediators."

He insisted on a war with Spain, was resisted, and last Monday resigned. The city breathed vengeance on his opposers, the council quailed, and the Lord knows what would have happened; but yesterday, which was only Friday, as this giant was stalking to seize the tower of London, he stumbled over a silver penny, picked it up, carried it home to Lady Hester, and they are now as quiet, good sort of people, as my Lord and Lady Bath who lived in the vinegar-bottle. In fact, Madam, this immaculate man has accepted the Barony of Chatham for his wife, with a pension of three thousand pounds a year for three lives; and though he has not quitted the House of Commons, I think my Lord Anson would now be as formidable there. The pension he has left us, is a war for three thousand lives! perhaps, for twenty times three thousand lives!—But—

"Does this become a soldier? this become Whom armies follow'd, and a people loved?"

What! to sneak out of the scrape, prevent peace, and avoid the war! blast one's character, and all for the comfort of a Paltry annuity, a long-necked peeress, and a couple of Grenvilles! The city looks mighty foolish, I believe, and possibly even Beckford may blush. Lord Temple resigned yesterday: I suppose his virtue pants for a dukedom. Lord Egremont has the seals; Lord Hardwicke, I fancy, the privy seal; and George Grenville, no longer Speaker, is to be the cabinet minister in the House of Commons. Oh! Madam, I am glad you are inconstant to Mr. Conway, though it is only with a Barbette! If you piqued yourself on your virtue, I should expect you would sell it to the master of a Trechscoot.

I told you a lie about the King's going to Ranelagh—No matter; there is no such thing as truth. Garrick exhibits the coronation, and, opening the end of the stage, discovers a real bonfire and real mob: the houses in Drury-lane let their windows at threepence a head. Rich is going to produce a finer coronation, nay, than the real one; for there is to be a dinner for the Knights of the Bath and the Barons of the Cinque-ports, which Lord Talbot refused them.

I put your Caufields and Stauntons into the hands of one of the first heralds upon earth, and who has the entire pedigree of the Careys; but he cannot find a drop of Howard or Seymour blood in the least artery about them. Good night, Madam!

(192) Bubb Doddington, having for many years placed his ambition on the acquisition of a coronet, obtained the long-wished-for prize in the preceding April.-E.

Letter 98 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Arlington Street, Oct. 12, 1761. (page 154)

It is very lucky that you did not succeed in the expedition to Rochfort. Perhaps you might have been made a peer; and as Chatham is a naval title, it might have fallen to your share. But it was reserved to crown greater glory: and lest it should not be substantial pay enough, three thousand pounds a year for three lives go along with it. Not to Mr. Pitt—you can't suppose it. Why truly, not the title, but the annuity does, and Lady Hester is the baroness; that, if he should please, he may earn an earldom himself. Don't believe me, if you have not a mind. I know I did not believe those who told me. But ask the gazette that swears it—ask the King, who has kissed Lady Hester—ask the city of London, who are ready to tear Mr. Pitt to pieces—ask forty people I can name, who are overjoyed at it—and then ask me again, who am mortified, and who have been the dupe of his disinterestedness. Oh, my dear Harry! I beg you on my knees, keep your virtue: do let me think there is still one man upon earth who despises money. I wrote you an account last week of his resignation. Could you have believed that in four days he would have tumbled from the conquest of Spain to receiving' a quarter's pension from Mr. West?(193) To-day he has advertised his seven coach-horses to be sold—Three thousand a year for three lives, and fifty thousand pounds of his own, will not keep a coach and six. I protest I believe he is mad, and Lord Temple thinks so too; for he resigned the same morning that Pitt accepted the pension. George Grenville is minister of the House of Commons. I don't know who will be Speaker. They talk of Prowse, Hussey, Bacon, and even of old Sir John Rushout. Delaval has said an admirable thing: he blames Pitt not as you and I do; but calls him fool; and says, if he had gone into the city, told them he had a poor wife and children unprovided for, and had opened a subscription, he would have got five hundred thousand pounds, instead of three thousand pounds a year. In the mean time the good man has saddled us with a war which we can neither carry on nor carry off. 'Tis pitiful! 'tis wondrous pitiful! Is the communication stopped, that we never hear from you? I own 'tis an Irish question. I am out of humour: my visions are dispelled, and you are still abroad. As I cannot put Mr. Pitt to death, at least I have buried him: here is his epitaph:

Admire his eloquence—it mounted higher Than Attic purity or Roman fire: Adore his services-our lions view Ranging, where Roman eagles never flew: Copy his soul supreme o'er Lucre's sphere; —But oh! beware three thousand pounds a-year!(194)

October 13.

Jemmy Grenville resigned yesterday. Lord Temple is all hostility; and goes to the drawing-room to tell every body how angry he is with the court-but what is Sir Joseph Wittol, when Nol Bluff is pacific? They talk of erecting a tavern in the city, called The Salutation: the sign to represent Lord Bath and Mr. Pitt embracing. These are shameful times. Adieu!

(193) Secretary to the treasury.

(194) Gray also appears to have been greatly offended at this acceptance of the title and the pension: "Oh!" he exclaim, "that foolishest of great men, that sold his inestimable diamond for a paltry peerage and pension! The very night it happened was I swearing that it was a d-d lie, and never could be: but it was for want of reading Thomas 'a Kempis, who knew mankind so much better than I." Works, vol. iii. p. 265. Mr. Burke took a very different view of Mr. Pitt's conduct on this occasion. "With regard to the pension and title, it is a shame," he says, "that any defence should be necessary. What eye cannot distinguish, at the first glance, between this and the exceptionable case of titles and pensions? What Briton, with the smallest sense of honour and gratitude, but must blush for his country, if such a man retired unrewarded from the public service, let the motives for that retirement be what they would? It was not possible that his sovereign could let his eminent services pass unrequited: the sum that was given was inadequate to his merits; and the quantum was rather regulated by the moderation of the great mind that received it, than by the liberality of that which bestowed it."- E.

Letter 99 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, October 24, 1761. (page 156)

I have got two letters from you, and am sensibly pleased with your satisfaction. I love your cousin for his behaviour to you; he will never place his friendship better. His parts and dignity, I did not doubt, would bear him out. I fear nothing but your spirits and the frank openness of your heart; keep them within bounds, and you will return in health, and with the serenity I wish you long to enjoy.

You have heard our politics; they do not mend, sick of glory, without being tired of war, and surfeited with unanimity before it had finished its work, we are running into all kinds of confusion. The city have bethought themselves, and have voted that they will still admire Mr. Pitt; consequently, be, without the cheek of seeming virtue, may do what he pleases. An address of thanks to hit-() has been carried by one hundred and nine against fifteen, and the city are to instruct their members; that is, because we are disappointed of a Spanish war, we must have one at home. Merciful! how old I am grown! here am I, not liking a civil war! Do you know me? I am no longer that Gracchus, who, when Mr. Bentley told him something or other, I don't know what, would make a sect, answered quickly, "Will it make a party?" In short, I think I am always to be in contradiction; now I am loving my country.

Worksop(195) is burnt down; I don't know the circumstances; the Duke and Duchess are at Bath; it has not been finished a month; the last furniture was brought in for the Duke of York; I have some comfort that I had seen it, and, except the bare chambers, in which the Queen of Scots lodged, nothing remained of ancient time.

I am much obliged to Mr. Hamilton's civilities; but I don't take too much to myself; yet it is no drawback to think that he sees an compliments your friendship for me. I shall use his permission of sending you any thing that I think will bear the sea; but how must I send it! by what conveyance to the sea, and where deliver it? Pamphlets swarm already; none very good, and chiefly grave; you would not have them. Mr. Glover has published his long-hoarded Medea,(196) as an introduction to the House of Commons; it had been more proper to usher him from school to the University. There are a few good lines, not much conduct, and a quantity of iambics, and trochaics, that scarce speak English, and yet have no rhyme to keep one another in countenance. If his chariot is stopped at Temple-bar, I suppose he will take it for the Straits of Thermopylae, and be delivered of his first speech before its time.

The catalogue of the Duke of Devonshire's collection is only in the six volumes of the Description of London. I did print about a dozen, and gave them all away so totally that on searching, I had not reserved one for myself. When we are at leisure, I will reprint a few more, and you shall have one for your Speaker. I don't know who is to be ours: Prowse, they say, has refused; Sir John Cust was the last I heard named: but I am here and know nothing; sorry that I shall hear any thing on Tuesday se'nnight.

Pray pick me up any prints of lord-lieutenants, Irish bishops, ladies —nay, or patriots; but I will not trouble you for a snuff-box or toothpick-case, made of a bit of the Giant's Causeway.

My anecdotes of Painting will scarcely appear before Christmas. My gallery and cabinet are at a full stop till spring. but I shall be sorry to leave it all in ten days; October, that scarce ever deceived one before, has exhibited a deluge; but it was recovered, and promised to behave well as long as it lives, like a dying sinner. Good night!

P. S. My niece lost the coronation for only a daughter. It makes me smile, when I reflect that you are come into the world again, and that I have above half left it.

(195) The Duke of norfolk's seat at Worksop Manor, Nottinghamshire, was burnt down on the 20th of October 1761. The damage was estimated at one hundred thousand pounds. When the Duke heard of it, he exclaimed, "God's will be done!" and the Duchess, "How many besides us are sufferers by the like calamity!" Evelyn, who visited Worksop in 1654, says, "The manor belongs to the Earle of Arundel, and has to it a faire house at the foote of an hill, in a park that affords a delicate prospect."-E.

(196) Glover's tragedy of Medea was performed several times at Drury-lane and Covent-garden, for the benefit of Mrs. Yates, whose spirited acting Gave it considerable effect.-E.

Letter 100 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill, Oct. 26, 1761. (page 157)

and how strange it seems! You are talking to me of the King's wedding, while we are thinking of a civil war. Why, the King's wedding was a century ago, almost two months; even the coronation things that happened half an age ago, is quite forgot. The post to Germany cannot keep pace with our revolutions. Who knows but you may still be thinking that Mr. Pitt is the most disinterested man in the world? Truly, as far as the votes of a common-council can make him so, he is. Like Cromwell, he has always promoted the self-denying ordinance, and has contrived to be excused from it himself. The city could no longer choose who should be their man of virtue; there was not one left - by all rules they ought next to have pitched upon one who was the oldest offender: instead of that, they have reelected the most recent; and, as if virtue was a borough, Mr. Pitt is rechosen for it, on vacating his seat. Well, but all this is very serious: I shall offer a prophetic picture, and shall be very glad if I am not a true soothsayer. The city have voted an address of thanks to Mr. Pitt, and given instructions to their members; the chief articles of which are, to promote an inquiry into the disposal of the money that has been granted, and to consent to no peace, unless we are to retain all, or near all, our conquests. Thus the city of London usurp the right of making peace and war. But is the government to be dictated to by one town? By no means. But suppose they are not -what is the consequence? How will the money be raised? If it cannot be raised without them, Mr. Pitt must again be minister: that you think would be easily accommodated. Stay, stay; he and Lord Temple have declared against the whole cabinet council. Why, that they have done before now, and yet have acted with them again. It is very true; but a little word has escaped Mr. Pitt, which never entered into his former declarations; nay, nor into Cromwell's, nor Hugh Capet's, nor Julius Caesar's, nor any reformer's of ancient time. He has happened to say, he will guide. Now, though the cabinet council are mighty willing to be guided, when they cannot help it, yet they wish to have appearances saved: they cannot be fond of being told they are to be guided still less, that other people should be told so. Here, then, is Mr. Pitt and the common-council on one hand, the great lords on the other. I protest, I do not see but it will come to this. Will it allay the confusion, if Mr. Fox is retained on the side of the court? Here are no Whigs and Tories, harmless people, that are content with worrying one another for i hundred and fifty years together. The new parties are, I will, and you shall not; and their principles do not admit delay. However, this age is of suppler mould than some of its predecessors; and this may come round again, by a coup de baguette, when one least expects it. If it should not, the honestest part one can take is to look on, and try if one can do any good if matters go too far.

I am charmed with the Castle of Hercules;(197) it is the boldest pile I have seen since I travelled in Fairyland. You ought to have delivered a princess imprisoned by enchanters in his club: she, in gratitude, should have fallen in love with you; your constancy should have been immaculate. The devil knows how it would have ended—I don't—and so I break off my romance.

You need not beer the French any more this year: it cannot be ascribed to Mr. Pitt; and the mob won't thank you. If we are to have a warm campaign in Parliament, I hope you will be sent for. Adieu! We take the field tomorrow se'nnight.

P. S. You will be sorry to hear that Worksop is burned. My Lady Waldegrave has got a daughter, and your brother an ague.

(197) Alluding to a description of a building in Hesse Cassel, given by Mr. Conway in one of his letters.

Letter 101 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Nov. 7, 1761. (page 159)

You will rejoice to hear that your friend Mr. Amyand is going to marry the dowager Lady Northampton; she has two thousand pounds a-year, and twenty thousand in money. Old Dunch(198) is dead, and Mrs. Felton Hervey(199) was given over last night, but is still alive.

Sir John Cust is Speaker, and bating his nose, the chair seems well filled. There are so many new faces in this Parliament, that I am not at all acquainted with it.

The enclosed print will divert you, especially the baroness in the right-hand corner—so ugly, and so satisfied: the Athenian head was intended for Stewart; but was so like, that Hogarth was forced to cut off the nose. Adieu!

(198) Widow of Edmund Dunch, Esq. comptroller of the household of George the First.-E.

(199) Wife of the Hon. Felton Hervey, ninth son of John, first Earl of Bristol.-E.

Letter 102 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Nov. 28, 1761. (page 159)

I am much obliged for the notice of Sir Compton's illness; if you could send me word of peace too, I should be completely satisfied on Mr. Conway's account. He has been in the late action, and escaped, at a time that, I flattered myself, the campaign -was at an end. However, I trust it is now. You will have been concerned for young Courtney. The war, we hear, is to be transferred to these islands; most probably to yours. The black-rod I hope, like a herald, is a sacred personage.

There has been no authentic account of the coronation published; if there should be, I will send it. When I am at Strawberry, I believe I can make you out a list of those that walked; but I have no memorandum in town. If Mr. Bentley's play is printed in Ireland, I depend on your sending me two copies.

There has been a very private ball at court, consisting of not above twelve or thirteen couple; some of the lords of the bedchamber, most of the ladies, the maids of honour, and six strangers, Lady Caroline Russell, Lady Jane Stewart, Lord Suffolk, Lord Northampton, Lord Mandeville, and Lord Grey. Nobody sat by, but the Princess, the Duchess of Bedford, and Lady Bute. They began before seven, danced till one, and parted without a supper.

Lady Sarah Lenox has refused Lord Errol; the Duke of Bedford is privy seal; Lord Thomond cofferer; Lord George Cavendish comptroller; George Pitt goes minister to Turin; and Mrs. Speed must go thither, as she is marrying the Baron de Perrier, Count Virry's son.(200) Adieu! Commend me to your brother.

(200) "My old friend Miss SPeed has done what the world calls a very foolish thing; she has married the Baron de la Poyri'ere, son to the Sardinian minister, the Count de Viry. He is about twenty-eight years old (ten years younger than herself), but looks nearer This is not the effect of debauchery; for he is a very sober and good-natured man honest and no conjurer." Gray to Wliarton. Works, vol. iii. p. 263.-E.

Letter 103 To The Countess Of Ailesbury. Arlington Street, Nov. 28, 1761. (page 160)

Dear Madam, You are so bad and so good, that I don't know how to treat you. You give me every mark of kindness but letting me hear from you. You send me charming drawings the moment I trouble you with a commission, and you give Lady Cecilia(201) commissions for trifles of my writing, in the most obliging manner. I have taken the latter off her hands.- The Fugitive Pieces, and the Catalogue of Royal and Noble Authors shall be conveyed to you directly. Lady Cecilia and I agree how we lament the charming suppers there, every time we pass the corner of Warwick Street! We have a little comfort for your sake and our own, in believing that the campaign is at an end, at least for this year—but they tell us, it is to recommence here or in Ireland. You have nothing to do with that. Our politics, I think, will soon be as warm as our war. Charles Townshend is to be lieutenant-general to Mr. Pitt. The Duke of Bedford is privy seal; Lord Thomond, cofferer; Lord George Cavendish, comptroller.

Diversions, you know, Madam, are never at high watermark before Christmas: yet operas flourish pretty well: those on Tuesdays are removed to Mondays, because the Queen likes the burlettas, and the King cannot go on Tuesdays, his postdays. On those nights we have the middle front box railed in, where Lady Mary(202) and I sit in triste state like a Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress. The night before last there was a private ball at court, which began at half an hour after six, lasted till one, and finished without a supper. The King danced the whole time with the Queen, Lady Augusta with her four younger brothers. The other performers were: the two Duchesses of Ancaster and Hamilton, who danced little; Lady Effingham, and Lady Egremont who danced much; the six maids of honour; Lady Susan Stewart, as attending Lady Augusta; and Lady Caroline Russel, and Lady Jane Stewart, the only women not of the family. Lady Northumberland is at Bath; Lady Weymouth lies in; Lady Bolingbroke was there in Waiting, but in black gloves, so did not dance. The men, besides the royals, were Lords March and Lord Eglinton, of the bedchamber: Lord Cantalope, vice-chamberlain; Lord Huntingdon; and four strangers, Lord Mandeville, Lord Northampton, lord Suffolk, and lord Grey. No sitters-by, but the Princess, the Duchess of Bedford, and Lady Bute.

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